AUSTIN, Texas - Major cities across the United States and in Texas, including Dallas and Houston, have shut down bars and restaurants in order to stop the spread of the coronavirus and Austin has followed suit.
As of March 16, there are 10 positive cases of COVID-19 in Austin-Travis County and officials expect that number to grow.
Austin Mayor Steve Adler joined Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt to make the announcement that bars will be closed and dine-in service at restaurants will be suspended for six weeks. The order goes into effect today (3/17) and will last until at least May 1.
In Houston, restaurants are no longer allowed to offer dine-in services and are now limited to pick-up, delivery or drive through.
The same is true for Dallas with the addition that public and private gatherings of more than 50 people are also banned. That means gyms and movie theaters are also being forced to close.
Health officials say this is all being done with the goal to slow down the spread of COVID-19 and not to overwhelm the healthcare system.
Officials continue to urge people to do the following:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cough or sneeze into your elbow or use a tissue to cover it, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
For the latest from the City of Austin on the coronavirus and an updated number of cases you can go here.